SVT Supercar: 2000 Ford Mustang Cobra R

With only 300 ever built, the 2000 Ford Mustang Cobra R is easily one of the rarest Mustangs offered to the public for sale. They rarely appear today, in any form, and command a strong following among Mustang enthusiasts – which is why it’s a bit of a shocker to see a claimed-5,600 mile example offered here on craigslist with a few lousy photos and less than 10 words in the description. These Cobra Rs were effectively built for track days and came with a whole assortment of features that made them immediately at home on the road course of your choice; the question is, would you actually use a museum quality-specimen like this for its intended purpose?

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Rex M. for the find. The Cobra R was the epitome of an SVT creation, a team that always placed an emphasis on measurable performance over cosmetic add-ons. The Cobra R received a fuel cell, independent rear suspension, and a naturally aspirated (remember those?) 5.4L V8 making a healthy 385 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque. The Cobra R was also stripped down compared to its more pedestrian siblings, and that lighter weight – in concert with numerous chassis improvements, including a Bilstein / Eibach coilover suspension and Brembo brakes – made the Cobra R a competent track machine right out of the box.

The Cobra R also benefitted from numerous other improvements that seemed like purely cosmetic add-ons but were actually intended to deliver results on the track as well. Aerodynamic improvements, including the rear spoiler and front splitter, were standard, along with a power bulge hood to help clear the intake manifold that featured high-flow characteristics in the R. The exhaust was also a bit of work of art, featuring short-tube headers, three Borla mufflers, a Bassani X-pipe, all exiting out the sides of the Mustang to make way for the aforementioned fuel cell. The wheels are obviously unique to the SVT models, but also look very similar to what came on the later Focus SVT.

Inside, you got Recaro sears and not much else. The interior was stripped of any meaningful luxury in the interest of preserving its track-day readiness, and most anyone who was interested in buying such a car was completely OK with that. The SN95 and Fox body Cobras are certainly sought after, but not to the same degree as a Cobra R. When you think about how many Fox body Cobras we’ve featured recently against the number of these later R models, it’s not even close: the R hardly ever comes up for grabs, while you can find a Fox body Cobra within a few days if you’re patient. This is a special car for sure, one you drive to Cars & Coffee or take to your local Mustang club track day event. How would you use it?


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  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Rare and desirable Mustang. Prospective buyers know what the car is. Low mileage example, probably in great shape. But still….. what a terrible ad. It’s like the seller had a thought about selling the car, and gave it about a minute of effort to put it on Craigslist, assuming that is all it takes for such a desirable car. Frustrating to me, but maybe the seller’s approach is sufficient?

    Like 9
    • David

      Might be one of those cases where the husband tells the nagging wife, “gee honey, I tried to get rid of that awful car that you hate, but I had no buyers. I guess we have to keep it!”

      Like 13
  2. Jaydawg7 Jaydawg7

    I’d like to have one. I’d immediately throw some 03-04 chrome Cobra SVT wheels on there & drive the crap out of it.

    Like 3
  3. Mark P

    For all its rareness if it goes by you at 40mph on a side street it just looks like an older Mustang someone’s taken care of and modified a bit. Nice car though.

    Like 5
  4. Tim

    Nice looking mustang. I’m sure to someone its 70k rare but it’s not old enough metal for me to throw hard earned money at. 70k would buy me 2 or 3 of my bucket list cars. If it’s not 60s-early 70s than I’d rather buy a current model. Better money spent in my book.

    Like 6
  5. Brad

    A local neighboring highschool kid had one in 2011-2012.
    He would rev the hell out of it at football stadium & Whataburger parking lots.

  6. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    It looks like someone was walking by and decided to snap a few photos and throw it on Craigslist as a joke.

    Like 2
  7. Big Willie

    The 5.4 should have been the standard motor on the GT.

    Like 1
  8. JoeNYWF64

    Are side exhausts still legal? – no car has em now, i believe.
    No radio – but was back seat ditched as well?
    P/W, P/S, P/B, & A/C should all have been – as well.
    Looks like (fiberglass?) hood/fenders alignment was not a priority.
    Actually, is ANY vehicle today avail with a fiberglass hood, other than the vette?

    Like 1
  9. Norm Member

    I agree about the poor shots, but 500 mile cars need an in person inspection. The hood is opened on the side shot, the car has no backseat, A/C, but has power steering and brakes. No radio, not needed. These cars are quick, well balanced, and stick to the road. And they are a total blast to drive, very predictable with power to drift at will.

    Like 1

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